"Last year, a group of Harvard professors asked the United
States District Court in Washington to declare the copyright
extension bill unconstitutional. The case, Eldred v. Reno, was
dismissed in October 1999. But Lawrence Lessig, a professor of law
at Stanford University who was involved in the original case and
who is representing the plaintiffs in the appeal, argued this
morning before the United States Court of Appeals for the District
of Columbia Circuit that the case "merits heightened review."
"Alfred R. Mollin, arguing on behalf of the Justice
Department... said... The extension... protects and promotes
creativity by making the payoff more valuable. ... But in many
cases, Mr. Lessig contends, large corporations have benefited
the most from the copyright laws because they often hold valuable
copyrights. Congress, by extending the duration of copyrights,
are "rewarding and protecting monopolies," Mr. Lessig
"The 1998 law lengthened copyrights for works created on or
after Jan. 1, 1978, to the life of the author plus 70 years; it
extended copyrights for works created for hire and owned by
corporations to 95 years, from 75."
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